What I learn from BCG way of Problem Solving (so far)

Robin Low
3 min readMay 5, 2021

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is well known for solving business problems and it is not the most innovative consulting company, however, they have a very structured way of doing it.

Structured problem solving

Structured problem-solving starts with framing the problem.

It is essential to understand the problem. Without a proper understanding and framing of the problem, you may not even get to the right solution.

BCG’s way of problem-solving

Thinking drives doing

Mentality: hope to collect the “right” data. Be intentional and deliberate on how you approach the problem

  1. Frame and define the real problem
  • Get to the real issue

The first step in structuring out a problem: SCQ Situation –> Complication –> Question

There are many other posts on SCQ or SCQA, and here is a typical one to explain more.

Situation — What is the current recognized and stable situation?

Complication — What’s the main issue at hand?

Question — What is the key question to be answered?

2. Generate ideas and structure hypotheses

  • Use the Pyramid Principle to structure thinking

Hypotheses are your best estimate of the answer, with the current information available.

Hypotheses …

  1. Help us to be more focused and specific
  2. Can be wrong!
  3. Are adapted as more findings come along

Best practices to establish and sharpen hypotheses

  • Make it more focused
  • Make it more specific
  • Quantify hypotheses early

Pyramid Principle

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Robin Low

Author, Traveler, Innovator. Focuses on Social Impact and Innovation.